BYU alumni bring board game expo to Provo

TimpCon team member and BYU alum Kevin Carter discusses the upcoming Timpanogos Game Convention, which will be held on Oct. 19-20 at the Utah Valley Convention Center. (Timpanogos Gaming Convention)

A D20 die rolls across a wooden tabletop, the playing cards shuffle and a game piece slides across the board as it advances to the finish line. These sounds are music to board gamers’ ears. 

Four BYU alumni and one current BYU student are bringing board games to a whole new level by hosting the Timpanogos Game Convention right in the heart of Provo. Hosted in the Utah Valley Convention Center on Oct. 19–20, Utah County residents of all ages are invited to climb to the peak of gaming for TimpCon. Doors will open 9 a.m. on Oct. 19 and the 24-hour gaming experience will not end until 11 p.m. on Oct. 20.

The convention will include popular tournament games like Kingdomino, King of Tokyo, Scythe and Magic: The Gathering. There will also be a large game library for all ages, gaming styles and experience levels, according to TimpCon team member Kevin Carter.

TimpCon creators and BYU alumni Kevin Carter, Kolby Reddish, Eric Seamons, Bryce Robinson, and current BYU math major David Robinson said they have been gaming since their college days.

Although each founder has their preferences, they agreed modern games are significantly better than the games they grew up playing.

“It wasn’t until 2007 during my freshman year that I was introduced to more modern games. My first one was the Settlers of Catan, which really started a board game resurgence here in the U.S.,” Reddish said. “Modern game design has moved away from those frustratingly long and luck-based games we all remember suffering through as kids, like Monopoly and Life.”

The TimpCon organizers said they also enjoy being challenged by modern games. Seamons said the games he plays with the other founders are more complicated than other board games but just as entertaining.

The TimpCon board gaming expo will begin Oct. 19. People of all ages are invited to the 24-hour expo held at the Utah Valley Convention Center. (Timpanogos Game Convention)

“At first I felt the games were really complicated, but I have come to like several of the games we have played together,” he said.

Reddish said games that involve running your own dinosaur park, surviving as post-apocalyptic scavengers, helping Sherlock Holmes to solve cases, overthrowing dystopian corporate interests as an activist hacker and managing the interests of a space empire can draw players into a new world with a unique story.

“My absolute favorite games are the types that allow you, as the players, to tell a completely unique story every time,” Reddish said.

These types of games will be the focus of TimpCon, but the creators were sure to include games that anyone could enjoy as well.

“There are board games for anyone whatever their interests are. There is something in the board gaming world for you,” Robinson said.

Many in the group are already frequent board game convention attendees and felt that Provo was the perfect venue for a new convention.

“We picked Provo for our location because it has such a great board gaming scene but doesn’t have a big convention yet where people can come and meet new friends and learn new games,” Reddish said.

Carter said TimpCon will be the board game convention to unite Utah County.

“TimpCon is a place for everyone to come together. Existing board game communities can come together, meet new people, grow and tell stories,” Carter said. “Those new to the board gaming world can and come and experience the golden age of this board gaming world.”

For more information and tickets, visit TimpCon’s website

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